I joined the group Baking Partners to expand my baking skills. In honor of Julia Childs 100th Birthday our first recipe for the group was Reine de Saba avec Glacage au Chocolat. In other words Chocolate Almond Cake.
When we were first given our assignment I cringed I'm not going to lie Julia Child intimates me. The day I got my email I went to the market and bought all the ingredients to take my time baking this cake. Life had other plans I had some projects I needed to finish, cleaning the house (company was coming) and a house guest that we were excited to have visit us.
So here I am at the deadline making a Julia Child cake.....crazy huh!
Friends I don't care what kind of deadline you are on take the time to read the recipe completely. If you are unsure of how to do something Google it someone out there will post a video to help you through. I did not do any of these until working on the recipe, wrong.
First video you can watch is from Rex The Adequate Chef
Another good video to watch is How to beat egg whites
I did goof on the egg whites, yep I watch the video after I beat them crazy and since I was down to the wire I did not start them over, I screwed up there. My second screw up was over cooking this cake make sure you keep an eye on it. I went the full 25 minutes without checking on it thinking because I usually have to bake things longer for the high altitude. Babysit this beautiful masterpiece.
My cake was not gooey like it should have been however even with my screw ups it was light and delicious. Can you imagine how good it would have been.
Ingredients for a 8 inch pan
4 oz or 4 squares of semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 tablespoons rum or coffee
1/4 lb or 1 stick softened butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1/3 cup pulverized (ground) almonds (I used Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup cake flour, scooped and sifted
Ingredients for Chocolate Icing
2 oz or 2 squares of semisweet baking chocolate
2 tablespoons rum or coffee
5 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
almonds sliced or slivered to decorate your cake
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 8 inch cake pan. In a double boiler place chocolate and rum or coffee over simmering water. While the chocolate mixture is melting continue with recipe.
Cream butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a a pale yellow fluffy mixture. Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.
Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl beat until soft peaks are formed. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks (watch video link).
With a rubber spatula add the melted chocolate mixture to butter and sugar mixture, blend together. Stir in the ground almond and almond extract. Immediately stir in one-forth (1/4) of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining egg whites and when partially blended add a third of the sifted cake four repeat egg whites and flour a third at a time until egg whites and flour are incorporated.
Place batter in the 8 inch buttered and floured cake pan, pushing the batter up to it's rim. Bake in the middle level for 25 minutes. Cake is done when it is puffed and when a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it. Cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and turn over to cool completely on a wire rack (about 2 hours)
Directions for icing: Fill a bowl with ice cubes and water and set aside. In a double boiler add chocolate and rum or coffee while water is brought to a simmer. Remove pans from heat let chocolate melt for 5 minutes. Remove bowl with mixture from heat. Add butter to mixture 1 tablespoon at a time mixing until melted repeat until all the butter has been used. Put bowl in ice water and beat until chocolate mixture cools to a spreadable consistency. Spread over cake and sides and use almonds to decorate cake.
Excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child - 50th Anniversary reprint can be found online at Amazon
Until Next Time,